Professional Jeweler Archive: Selling the New Bold Designs

November 2003


Selling the New Bold Designs

Big looks for fall timepieces require new sales training

Many watch companies have made radical design changes to some of their watches. This fall just about every brand we carry offers new and very bold models.

How do you work with these changes and sell with confidence? As someone who needs to explain the new styles to employees, customers and owners, I focus on why we make the decisions and how we handle new looks and products.

Big and Rectangular

This year’s “look” in the watch industry is the oversized square or rectangular wristwatch. We’ve seen these before, but not to the degree that mainstream companies offer them in their fall collections. There are even styles for women.
These watches are fashion-driven. As such they may be introduced first in larger metropolitan areas with a sophisticated and trend-hungry clientele.

Radical styles make their way more slowly between the coasts to the traditionally conservative areas farther inland. But no matter where your store is, you’ll still have customers who want the latest and greatest.

Make sure you and the staff understand the concept of watches as fashion. Very few companies can keep churning out the same product with continued success. Most brands, to one degree or another, will push the limit a bit.

Pump Up the Staff

Get the staff excited before the watches arrive. Lay the groundwork for change. Tell them some great new looks are coming along. Show pictures if you have them. Explain the brand’s philosophy in making changes as a means of attracting new customers, staying fresh and improving sales. Make certain your staff members know the reasons for the changes.

Also sneak-preview the upcoming season to your top customers so you can make a few early non-resistive sales.

When the watches arrive, get your staff together. Show the new pieces, get people to try them on, see and feel the changes. Recruit your most fashion-assertive salesperson as an ally to help the brand catch on with the staff and customers. When you sell those first few pieces, it increases everyone’s confidence.

Train and Advertise

Be sure to train. Bring in the sales reps from each of your lines to help bolster and support your buying decisions and to explain the changes. This will help to get everyone on board.

Make sure you advertise. Use national and local co-op opportunities to make certain the new product is getting the visibility it will need to survive and prosper.

Lastly, don’t be alarmed if things start slowly. All change takes hold gradually with salespeople and customers. But if you plan accordingly, it will reduce questions about your abilities and, more importantly, get the new timepieces out the door and onto customers’ wrists.

– by Paul White, Watch Division director, Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications